New Italian carrier takes delivery of first Airbus A350

The A350 at Rome Fiumicino

Italy’s new national carrier, ITA Airways, has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350 aircaft, becoming the 40th operator of the type.

In December 2021, the carrier firmed up an order for 28 Airbus aircraft, including 18 single aisle (seven A220s, 11 A320neos) and 10 A330neos (new engine option), the latest version of the most popular A330 widebody airliner.

Moreover, ITA Airways already leased more than 50 additional new generation Airbus aircraft, six of which are A350s, to complement its fleet modernisation.

The Airbus wing-making factory in Broughton, near Chester, makes wings for all Airbus commercial aircraft, employing around 4,500 staff, with plans to increase its headcount by up to 550 as order levels begin to recover from the shock to the sector caused by the pandemic.

ITA’s first A350, which landed for the first time in Italy at Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci International Airport on Wednesday evening, is on lease from ALAFCO, a Kuwait-based aircraft leasing company.

ITA’s A350 cabin is configured in a two-class layout, with 334 seats comprising 33 full lie-flat bed business and 301 economy seats.

ITA Airways’ A350 will start operations in early June to serve the new intercontinental routes that the company will open in the summer season from Rome Fiumicino to Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo.

The Airbus A350’s clean-sheet design features state-of-the-art aerodynamics, fuselage and wings made of advanced materials, plus the most fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into a 25% reduction in fuel-burn and CO2 emissions compared with previous generation aircraft.

ITA Airways is totally owned by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance for the exercise of business in the air transport sector. It aims to boost tourism and foreign trade, and within the country, take advantage of the train-air integrated mobility.